On Saturday night, the New England Patriots will be facing the Tennessee Titans in the AFC Divisional Round. Luckily for New England, DeMarco Murray will be out.
Coming into the AFC Divisional Round, the Tennessee Titans will once again be short-handed, as DeMarco Murray has already been ruled out for the game against the New England Patriots. The Titans were without Murray last week as well, as it was Derrick Henry that shouldered the work.
As a very good running back in his own right, Henry had a big game against the Kansas City Chiefs and was a major reason why the Titans won the game. In the win, Henry rushed for 156 yards on just 23 carries.
This season, we began to see the switch from Murray to Henry in Tennessee, as he ended up totaling more rushing yards and a higher yards per carry average than Murray. While Henry is certainly capable of being the primary runner in the backfield, the loss of Murray does affect the passing game.
Murray was one of the top receivers this season for the Titans, as he totaled 39 receptions, 266 receiving yards, and one touchdown. Even though the Titans were able to win against the Chiefs without Murray, they are facing the defending Super Bowl champions this Saturday, and it would have been good to have him.
With Murray out, the Titans are going to be relying heavily on Henry once again. The Patriots’ defense usually makes it a priority to stop the best player on the opposing offense and make others step up. If that holds true this week, expect to see a lot of eight-man boxes against Henry and the Titans offense.
If the Patriots are able to stop the run, the Titans will have to ask Marcus Mariota to have a big performance. So far, we haven’t seen a ton of big passing games for Mariota in his career. However, he might have to do that if the Titans want to be competitive with the Patriots.